SITTING in the Darlinghurst Supreme Court last Friday, we heard the sentence handed down to the man
who has been called a ‘monster’ who ‘breached the trust of a family’ and who left a defenceless seven-month-old baby boy from Glenmore Park with catastrophic life-long injuries.
Andrew Nolan, 34, was sentenced to eight and a half years in gaol after he bashed the then seven-month-old Bobby ‘the brave’ Webber within an inch of his little life in 2014.
On an evening in September, 2014, Bobby was left in the care of his non- biological uncle, Mr Nolan, who took it upon himself to inflict devastating and life threatening injuries to the seven-month-old boy. During his sentencing the court was told of the level of anger and physical harm which Mr Nolan inflicted upon the little boy.
Bobby’s mother, Elise Webber cried as District Court Judge Philip Ingram described the attack on her son. He said the attack left Bobby with an “extraordinary scope of injuries” which included broken ribs, skull fractures, fractured ankles, bruised genitals, carpet burns a bite mark and multiple forehead wounds.
Outside the courthouse the Webber family were physically shaken by the sentence, it was clear they had expected harsher sentencing. Fighting back her tears, Elise Webber said she was disappointed by the results.
“We were hoping he would be sentenced to the full extent of the law, like 25 years, but we were let down,” she said.
Barry Webber, Bobby’s father, was more than angry with the results. He questioned ‘the system’ saying “you’re supposed to have faith in it but when you get a result like this you can’t help but feel like it is broken”.
During the police investigation Mr Nolan gave four different accounts of the night Bobby was attacked. In one account he said Bobby had sustained his injuries because he had dropped Mr Nolan’s mobile phone on his head multiple times.
On another account he suggest an intruder came in through the front door and bashed Bobby whilst Mr Nolan slept on a nearby couch.
Later in the investigation Mr Nolan admitted he had changed Bobby’s nappy and then decided to put his foot on the infant’s back with force and rubbed him face first along the carpet. Mr Nolan also said he had hit Bobby twice with an open hand and had thrown him into his cot though Judge Ingram could not accept this account given it did not explain the child’s fractured ankles.
As a result of the attack, Judge Ingram said Bobby has been left with “life long catastrophic injuries” which include seizures, blindness, cerebral palsy, he is a quadriplegic and will require the use of a wheel chair and round the clock care for the rest of his life.
Mr Nolan was given a max of 12 and a half years in protective custody after sources suggested Mr Nolan’s life might be in danger if he were put in with the general prison population. The judge said it was clear Mr Nolan was remorseful.
Mr Nolan will be available for parole in 2023. Those present to support Bobby and his family didn’t agree that he was remorseful. After the sentence was handed down someone called out across the court “f***ing dog”.
As he was lead out of the docks Mr Nolan replied, “See you in 12 years.”
Members of Bobby’s family have set up a donation page at https://www.gofundme.com/bobby-the-brave with all funds going to the ongoing rehabilitation and support for Bobby the Brave. As of December 9 the page had raised $54,000.